Birdsong by Ellie Sandall
This book is a simple, bright invitation to make some noise during story time! One bird lands on a tree branch and begins to sing “Kitcha kitcha Kee kee kee.” Another bird flies to the same branch and begins its own song “Urrah! Urrah! Rah rah ree.” More birds come, including an owl and a parrot, until finally a very large bird with an enormous voice manages to clear the others from the branch with very humorous results.
Sandall keeps the concept clear and simple. The narrative portion of the book is kept to an absolute minimum of just introducing the entering birds. Her bird calls when read one after another form a rhythm and music. The repetition makes this a great choice for toddlers as well as preschoolers. The illustrations are a pleasing mix of the roughness of pencil in the branches and trees to the silkiness of watercolor for the birds. The colors are bright and vibrant, filling the illustrations with color. The illustrations are large enough to work well with a group.
Upon first reading the book, I thought it would work very well as a play for preschoolers to put on. Each child as a unique bird with an interesting call that is the only line they have to learn. And then a comic ending, to wrap the whole thing up.
A great addition to any story time about birds, children will enjoy helping make the musical noise in the book and could even be assigned instruments to match each bird and their call. Think of the lovely cacophony! Appropriate for ages 2-4.
Reviewed from copy received from Egmont.
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